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Year-end tax tips for the self-employed

It’s almost that time of year again for employees, business owners and almost anyone who worked in New York during 2015. Tax time is just around the corner, and it is always better to get prepared ahead of time than to wait until the last minute – especially if you know you’re going to owe taxes. The attorneys at Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP have a full knowledge of tax law in regards to small and large businesses, as well as those who are in business for themselves.

If you fall into the latter bracket, how do you get ready for tax season as a self-employed businessperson or independent contractor? Whether this was your first year working on your own or your 10th, tax time can be confusing and intimidating if you’re not relying on an employer to take care of most of the paperwork.

However, it doesn’t have to be so, states Investopedia. Today’s tax forms for the self-employed are designed to be as straightforward as possible. Additionally, you can take advantage of numerous tax breaks that may make it a little easier on your wallet. Some typical tax deductions for self-employed people may include:

  • A portion of your home used for office or workspace
  • Utilities, such as part of your phone or Internet bill
  • Travel expenses, including gas, meals and lodging
  • Health care premiums
  • Continuing education costs
  • Retirement plans for the self-employed

When completing your tax paperwork, it is important to itemize the right deductions so you are not suspected of tax fraud. For example, you wouldn’t want to include lavish meals or entertainment as a deduction on a business trip, nor your entire phone or Internet bill if you also use these utilities for personal use. In fact, it may be a wise choice to designate a separate phone line solely for your business to simplify your tax deductions. You’ll also want to keep proof of all your expenses related to your business, which can show the IRS how these costs are related to your job.

Learn more about tax laws for self-employed contractors and businesses by visiting our page.

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